Bremen, Germany – July 2008
The International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology
Deborah L. Best, Professor, Wake Forest University, USA
For more than three decades, Deborah L. Best has been a highly respected member of the family of cross-cultural psychologists and a significant contributor to the discipline of psychology. She has published consistently in important journals and has written many book chapters, often in collaboration with a network of scholars that she stimulated to impressive productivity and imbued with congenial relations. Perhaps her most frequently-cited publications are three co-authored books on sex stereotypes, gender, and self from a cross-cultural perspective.
She has had a meteoric career at Wake Forest, beginning with her B.A. in Psychology and her M.A. in General Experimental Psychology. She left for a short time while completing a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at the University of North Carolina in 1981. Her rapid rise in the academic ranks at Wake Forest led to being named the William L. Poteat Professor of Psychology. She served as chair of Psychology from 1994 to 2002 and subsequently as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, a position she has held since 2004. Despite her demanding administrative activities, she continues to be active in the Department of Psychology. Debbie has also received numerous teaching and research awards. Throughout her career, she has maintained her primary interest of cross-cultural psychology, particularly in the area of developmental psychology. She has also developed a secondary interest in cognitive psychology.
Debbie has made extraordinary contributions to cross-cultural psychology, particularly to the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology in which she has held numerous roles with distinction. She has been a consulting editor of the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology and, since 1996, an associate editor. For ten years, from 1988-1997, she was Treasurer of IACCP. She then served as President-Elect (1998-2000), President (2000-2002) and Past-President (2002-2004). In filling these and other roles, she has always exhibited impressive dedication, a gentle and reasoned voice, an easy and infectious laugh, and a pleasant demeanor that reflects the warm hospitality for which the southern United States is famous. The scope and depth of her commitment to cross-cultural psychology has clearly earned Deborah L. Best the title of Honorary Fellow, the highest award given by IACCP, which her fellow members proudly and enthusiastically bestow upon her.